Section 25-5-117

Limitation period for claims or actions for compensation.

(a) In case of the contraction of an occupational disease, as defined in this article, or of injury or disability resulting therefrom, a claim for compensation, as defined in Section 25-5-1, shall be forever barred, unless within two years after the date of the injury, as hereinafter defined, the parties shall have agreed upon the compensation payable under this article, or unless within two years after the date of the injury, one of the parties shall have filed a verified complaint as provided in Section 25-5-88. In case of death, the claim shall be forever barred, unless within two years after death, if death results proximately from the occupational disease, as defined in this article, and death occurs within three years of the date of the injury, as hereinafter defined, the parties have agreed upon the compensation under this article, or unless within two years after death, one of the parties shall have filed a verified complaint as provided in Section 25-5-88. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if upon the date of death the employee's claim is barred, any claim by his or her dependents likewise shall be barred. If, however, payments of compensation have been made, the limitations as to compensation shall not take effect until the expiration of two years from the time of making the last payment. In case of physical or mental incapacity, other than the minority of the injured employee or his or her dependent, to perform or cause to be performed any act required within the time specified in this section, the period of limitation in any case shall be extended to become effective two years from the date when the incapacity ceases. No agreement, express or implied, to shorten or to extend the limitations shall be valid or binding on either of the parties if the employment, at the time of the exposure, is or was subject to this article.

(b) For the purposes of occupational diseases other than pneumoconiosis or radiation, "the date of the injury" shall mean the date of the last exposure to the hazards of the disease in the employment of the employer in whose employment the employee was last exposed to the hazards of the disease.

(c) For purposes of pneumoconiosis and radiation, "the date of the injury" shall mean the date of the last exposure to the hazards of the disease in the employment of the employer in whose employment the employee was last exposed to the hazards of the disease in each of at least 12 months, within a period of five years prior to the date of the injury.

(Acts 1971, No. 668, p. 1379; Acts 1992, No. 92-537, p. 1082, §34.)